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Thread: Aquaponics system need people to critique my system

  1. #1
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    Default Aquaponics system need people to critique my system

    I am about to break ground on my aquaponics system. I plan on digging into the ground about 6 feet into a hill side in my front yard (but will build up at least 2 feet of gravel) so about 4 feet below ground. Going to build cinder block retaining walls, and have a gravel floor for drainage. Fish tank is going to be inside of the structure. The top is going to be made out of hog panels, to support any vines, and to be a support for the cover (mesh in summer, and platic in winter). Going to use a wind turbine, and solar panels for power to the pumps, and some lighting (probably LED). The structure will be either 10 or 14 feet wide and 30 feet long, and will have a north south orientation. Any ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Here are some quick images of what I am planning. will be making my own grow beds out of wood with a platic liner. The system will be the drain and fill type with the pumps running all the time, using bell siphons to empty.

    Please excuse my sorry images.

    This is a image looking from the side.



    One from above.
    Last edited by helomech; 07-01-2012 at 12:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    I have a little bit of experience with this so here is what I have to offer.

    Just remember the rule of thumb that you need about twice as much volume for grow beds compared to the volume of the fish tank. I haven't had much experience with bell siphons,( I used loop siphons) but from what I understand you have to be careful plumbing them so that the drain sign maintains a little bit of water in the line to keep from losing the siphon. Flood and drain is by far the best way to go in my opinion so your on the right track. If you get all your elevations correct you can run with just one pump like mine. Using high volume low pressure pond pups you can also keep your power using down. plan on a pump that can move the volume of your fish tank every hour. What kind of fish are you thinking?

    I am going to resurrect mine in the spring ( http://www.whenshtf.com/showthread.php?t=13309 )and try fresh water shrimp and crawdads. I need something that has a short growing cycle as maintaining the system in the winter has proven to be cost intensive. Good luck and keep us updated on your results.




    G
    Preparing so that I may live better today and post shtf.

  3. #3
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    I am planning on Channel catfish, because they can handle the temp better than talopia. Also I know I like to eat catfish. Already have a bunch in my pond so the fish would be free. I might be wrong, but I though catfish was a 1:1 ration, but talopia requried 2:1.

    I remember your system. It is what got me wanting to do this. I am hoping the partial in ground will make it easier to maintain a constant temp.

  4. #4
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    Being partially in ground will definitely help. I also raised catfish and I would definitely reccomend going 2:1. That way you will have fewer water changes.
    Preparing so that I may live better today and post shtf.

  5. #5
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    Water changes? Just the water getting dirty? I am planning on a sump that can be drained, and the pump being fairly high up in the tank.

  6. #6
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    Well I broke ground on it. Got a long ways to go, down about 3 feet now, only 5 more feet to go.
    Last edited by helomech; 07-01-2012 at 12:10 PM.

  7. #7
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    Here are some updated pics on what I am planning and on my progress.
    Here is a drawing of my plans.
    Last edited by helomech; 07-01-2012 at 12:10 PM.

  8. #8
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    Had to make a drainage spot, the hill does not drop fast enough.

    Last edited by helomech; 07-07-2012 at 01:26 PM.

  9. #9

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    ok I have yet to try this but some questions you may need to think of is... how are you going to heat/cool the water? What happens when the power goes out, will your fish simply perish? how much power are you planning to pull vs. the aprox. power you are making? and that is all for now. If you need some pdfs for specific aquaponics things pm me, i possibly may have it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountaingoat View Post
    ok I have yet to try this but some questions you may need to think of is... how are you going to heat/cool the water? What happens when the power goes out, will your fish simply perish? how much power are you planning to pull vs. the aprox. power you are making? and that is all for now. If you need some pdfs for specific aquaponics things pm me, i possibly may have it.
    Well it doesn't get that cold here and with the water tank being 8 foot below the ground level it should be pretty good. I will have be able to put together a solar water heater if needed, but the catfish in my pond do just fine all year. As far as power it will be solar and wind, with electricity only for grow lights and back up power. I am planning on two constant pumps, and enough solar and wind to power to them with extra power. I am always looking for aquaponics info, but don't have any specific questions. Been researching for at least 6 months now.

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